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About Hugo9000

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  1. Hugo9000

    Is Digital Audio A Mature Science?

    Oh, I chose those companies as being generally representative of those that produce equipment that is engineered to perform in ways that can be quantified in some way with measurements, and that people generally seem to agree actually work well in practice in audio playback. I also value quality control tremendously. I don't glorify them or suspend skepticism, and I'm aware that every company has some kind of reality they have to make allowances for sometimes just to stay in business. Whether those things are compromises that are deal breakers or not is something I decide when or if it's relevant to me. Adding something like DSD might be a compromise due to perceived demand, or possibly the designer has changed his mind. I don't presume to know. I also don't claim to be a pure objectivist in any way. I'm a music lover who needs whatever level of engineering quality/happenstance/planetary alignment is necessary and affordable to me to hear Leontyne Price's recordings in a way that recalls my one live experience with her in the concert hall and then backstage that night in September of 1988. I was lucky enough to hear KEF Reference 107s with Nakamichi 7-series equipment come extremely close tonally back at that time, and the KEF speakers I've owned through the years have kept that experience alive for me. I just need the other gear to not muck it up. lol I'll add that regarding DSD, the reason I bought a SACD-capable player from Denon back in 2005 was so I could test DSD myself with the Living Stereo Hybrid SACD releases of Leontyne Price's Madama Butterfly, "Blue Album," and her recording of El Amor Brujo! I came to feel that the main benefit of SACD/DSD was to provide the impetus for Sony to open the vaults to use the 3-track session tapes for those recordings for the first time since the original stereo downmixes were created for LP and reel back in the 60s. That alone was enough for me to love Sony, because it finally rid that Madama Butterfly recording of a horrible glitch that went back to every prior release from the original LP, to cassette tape, and two prior CD remasterings! DSD itself isn't necessarily anything great, but I don't condemn anyone who hears it (or just thinks it) to be better than PCM or whatever format.
  2. Hugo9000

    Is Digital Audio A Mature Science?

    Good grief, I don't even want to quote the ridiculous post just before Ralf's, and shouldn't waste time replying. But I'm an idiot, so I will. First, never heard of PreSonus nor Turbosound. Whether or not either of them have been "compared to" RME means nothing. And even if either or both of these companies have people with engineering expertise, that anecdote is meaningless. Did either of those companies conduct this event? Even if they did, most of us have attended or heard of shows where sound was awful, whether due to a crummy room, "not enough setup (tweaking?) time," or any of a host of other problems (or excuses). That doesn't necessarily mean the companies involved know nothing about the "real world," good sound, or anything else outside the constraints of the event in question. I'm sure music producers/recording engineers/etc. can chime in if I'm way off here, but aren't companies like RME geared more toward the "real world" than makers of esoteric audiophile equipment could claim to be? Not that such companies and use of their products by consumers are necessarily mutually exclusive. I would imagine that an RME ADI-2 DAC could be paired successfully with an Accuphase amp and KEF Blades, for example. Now, back to that anecdote about "shithouse" sound quality. I love KEF loudspeakers, but it's conceivable that someone could put KEF Reference 107s with the worst possible equipment or some other horrible factor to yield nauseating sound. How about a karaoke system, underpowered for the KEFs, and with the worst possible off-key drunks all attempting the crummiest pop tunes ever written? Such an "event" would certainly be "f'ing awful." But it certainly wouldn't be justification for condemning that speaker model, KEF as a company, nor be justification for condemning the work and engineering practices of any other company that has a similar background or reputation. What a risible post. Possibly a new low even for someone who seemingly writes endlessly here yet contributes nothing. Edited to add: Apologies to the OP, as this is about engineering expertise in general, and not specifically about digital audio and whether or not it is a mature science. If it isn't there yet, I do believe that the work of companies like RME show that we're getting pretty close! I have yet to hear of anyone who thinks that the RME ADI Pro or ADI-2 DAC "sound" bad or are simply pieces of equipment with great measurements. Not that I'm saying it isn't possible lol
  3. Hugo9000

    Is Digital Audio A Mature Science?

    Perhaps the best "value" provided by the "high end" is letting a company like Benchmark know that there is a market for a $2000 DAC, and a $3000 amplifier. So they know they can provide something with real engineering expertise with few if any compromises. Then the success of Benchmark shows a company like RME that they can probably market a superb $1100 DAC, with the only obvious "compromise" being that it's not in an audiophile-friendly case. (I don't know anyone at either company, which is why I'm merely speculating that companies of their type (engineering and testing oriented) them might take such things away from analyzing the audiophile market.) Not that I'm saying that any engineering-oriented companies like Benchmark and RME necessarily made any decisions on what levels of performance to pursue related to their price points with regard to anything companies like dCS or any other "high end" company have done, but it seems clear from reading various audio forums through the years that a number of customers who are audiophiles have turned to their products out of frustration with the high end audio industry.
  4. Hugo9000

    Is Digital Audio A Mature Science?

    Just imagine if it had a myrtlewood base. Seriously, though, that's a beautiful machine!
  5. Hugo9000

    Is Digital Audio A Mature Science?

    I had forgotten about their calculators! The first calculator my family owned was a Casio, and I think it was solar powered. It was less expensive than the TI options when my father purchased it. Before that, he had an "adding machine," as did my grandmother. I had one of TI's "scientific" calculators in college, and I recall a friend in high school having the first graphing calculator I ever saw, which was made by Texas Instruments. He used it to check his work in class after doing his calculations "by hand" (brain). Of course in my post, I meant consumer audio products, although I'm aware that audio is a tiny portion of the applications of all of TI's historic work.
  6. Hugo9000

    Is Digital Audio A Mature Science?

    Expensive kit makers... Technology introduction... Hmm, I suppose that all depends on how one defines "expensive" and what is defined as "technology" and if by "introduction," one simply means being the company to market something for the first time to consumers. Regarding "introduction," let's say that Texas Instruments/Burr-Brown has some special new technology. They don't actually make products that they sell to the end user, so would you give credit for the "introduction" of the technology to the the high-end (high-priced) audio manufacturer that is the first to use the TI chip in a consumer product? Sony and Philips brought the compact disc to the world, and both marketed consumer products. Neither has ever really marketed "expensive" products in the U.S., except in the way the Walkman or early CD players or first generation or two of Blu-ray players, etc. cost a bit much for the average consumer during their introduction, due to higher costs with tooling etc. when getting something new off the ground. Has any technology originated with an "expensive kit maker" in the sense of the actual research and creation of the technology and not just the first implementation in a consumer product? I would love it if TI would create a consumer products division, but I doubt it would happen as it would alienate all the companies that buy their chips. Perhaps if ESS and the other chip makers gain too much traction, but it still would doubtless be economically unwise to jeopardize their current business model for the low margins of the audio market. Just imagine, though, if TI put their expertise to work to create a consumer DAC at say a $500 or even $1000 price point to show what could really be done through expertise and the best engineering.
  7. It would actually be rather cunning of them to sneak an active device into a USB cable. So many people have made fun of those battery packs on their speaker cables since they introduced them, that it's possible no one would ever think to check if this thing on the USB cable actually was more than just a battery connected to one end of a shield. A perfect trojan horse to put an active component into! If it turns out to really be just another silly battery and shield contraption, they might still do such a thing in the future--they might get the idea from seeing our speculations here on C.A. lol
  8. This little USB-C to headphone adapter has a DAC and headphone amp built into it, and it's much smaller than that magic box on the AQ USB cable, so there is certainly room for mischief, as I mentioned in a previous post. They don't just rely on pseudoscience or misapply actual science, they also dishonestly impugn other companies in their own marketing copy (noted earlier in this thread, from AQ's current marketing on their website), so I would say anything stated by AQ deserves to be taken with a healthy ration of salt.
  9. It's USB, which has power. Without a teardown, who is to say that USB power isn't connected to an active component inside that thing?
  10. I'd be more impressed if it could correct typographical and formatting errors.
  11. AQ is a company with zero integrity. Take a look at this page: https://www.audioquest.com/cables/digital-cables/usb-a-to-b/diamond And this bit from that page: First of all, it was Philips that came up with the "pure, perfect sound forever" marketing phrase, not Sony. Second, that "attitude" that they ascribe to or blame on Sony is pure b.s., as Sony and Philips each claimed to have better-sounding CD players than the competition. Either AudioQuest is abysmally lazy, or willfully dishonest, or both. At any rate, before slandering another company, they had the responsibility to fact check their own claim. As far as the marketing of "pure, perfect sound forever" goes, in their ad copy this was accompanied by comparisons to LP, which suffered wear with every playback. It was marketing, with a bit of hyperbole/wishful thinking (there was no way of knowing if a CD would truly prove to be archival, but it was certainly superior to an LP for longevity/imperviousness to wear and tear through playback). Here is some marketing material from Philips. Compare what Philips claimed back in the day to AQ's dishonest representation of that era:
  12. Hugo9000

    Album of the Evening

    Neapolitan Concertos for Various Instruments Josetxu Obregón/La Ritirata
  13. Hugo9000

    How Should Speakers be Stabilised?

    Don't forget to use ratcheting tie-down straps to hold your speakers to their stands! You can experiment with different widths and strap colors to see which gives the best synergy with your system. lol
  14. I think they say that it's the same, but we only have their word for it (and haven't they been caught using a few "tricks" in their demos over the years? lol). USB cables have power, so it could be more than what's on their analog cables. As far as I know, there are no tear-downs of this device on their USB cables. I'm not curious enough to buy one to open it up, just as I never bothered with any of the MIT cables that had little boxes, either.
  15. That pic shows the "magic thingy" on the AudioQuest Diamond USB cable, which is what the OP said he is testing.